In the Spring, Reverend Erin issued a 40-day New Testament challenge. Emboldened by that achievement, we then started a 100-day Old Testament challenge that was not for the faint of heart! I will tell you what I told Erin, reading the Bible from cover to cover will be a cherished COVID-19 memory. And for all of us, there is something – if not many things – that will be fond memories and/or accomplishments from this time.
A late mentor and friend who was a Rabbi, told me more than once that the entire Torah can be summed up into God wants us to be kind, be just, and be humble. I have read the Bible many times throughout the years but in portions – rarely straight through. As I read through the Old and New Testaments, I was reminded of those lessons time and time again.
We’ve sung the canon many times at APC:
What does the Lord require of you, what does the Lord require of you?
Justice, Kindness, to walk humbly with God
To seek justice, and love kindness, and walk humbly with your God.
Justice – to speak out when confronted with injustice, to stand with those falsely accused, to fight for change and a better world, knowing that any injustice is intolerable.
Kindness – to be patient in times of impatience, to put aside differences and frustrations, to give instead of take, to love everyone, everywhere, as Jesus taught us.
Walk humbly – not just to put aside pride but to walk humbly with God. God wants us near. He wants conversation with us. He wants us to trust Him, love Him, hold Him in respect and awe… marvel at His wonders: the good attributes above, our global sisters and brothers, all creatures of the Earth and the planet itself.
What greater way to do that then lift up those in need – to right the injustice of poverty, to treat the homeless with kindness, respect and dignity; to understand – in humility – that we are all God’s children? To share the Good News with all who will listen. And by doing so, to teach others to seek justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God.
Like the verse, the hymn is beautiful and brief; but the message is all-encompassing.